• Amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They possess certain chemical characteristics that allow them to join together to form long chains. In the organism of an animal, there are 20 different standard amino acids that vary in incidence. Amino acids play an essential role in the nutrition of mammals such as people, dogs and cats. This need is easily met with a balanced diet made up of different animal and plant proteins.

  • Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that prevent the oxidation of other ingredients. In the body, they protect cells by neutralising free radicals. And in doing so, they help to protect against a large number of illnesses. Natural antioxidants are added to LEGENDS® DRY food products in order to prevent ingredients from chemically reacting with atmospheric oxygen. Valuable fats are processed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that, without the use of antioxidants, would become rancid and harmful to health.

  • Biotin

Biotin is also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H. A component of certain enzymes, it plays a role in the metabolism and regulates gene activity. It is found in many foods, but only in very small quantities. In particular, yeast, beef liver and egg yolk contain a lot of biotin.

  • Calcium

Calcium is the most common mineral occurring in the body, although 98 % of it is contained in the bones and teeth. If needed, some of the calcium stored in the bones can be released and made available to other parts of the body. Calcium is important for the transfer of stimuli in the nervous and muscular systems. It also controls cell division and blood clotting, activates enzymes and stabilises cell membranes.

  • Carbohydrate

Along with fats and proteins, carbohydrates are one of the three energy sources found in food. Monosaccharides (simple sugar), disaccharides (double sugar) and oligosaccharides are soluble in water, while polysaccharides (like starch) are either barely or not soluble in water at all and have a neutral taste. LEGENDS® pet food products have no added sugar, but they do contain natural starch from plant ingredients.

  • Cellulose Fibre

Cellulose is a type of fibre and is an indigestible polysaccharide for the vast majority of animals. It is the main component of plant cell walls and the most common organic compound. Cellulose is essential to regulate digestion because it cannot be broken down by the body: its long-chain molecules are able to bind to large quantities of liquids. This causes them to swell up and increase the volume of food so it presses more firmly against the intestinal walls, stimulating the rhythmic movement of the intestines (peristalsis). In turn, this helps prevent constipation.

  • Chloride

Chloride ions are needed to form gastric acid, to control water intake and to transfer signals between cells.

  • Chondroitin sulphate

Chondroitin sulphate is, like glucosamine, found in the joints. It is a macromolecule that forms an important part of cartilage.

  • Colostrum

Colostrum (also called colostral or first milk) is the initial milk produced by mammals immediately after birth. It provides the mother‘s offspring with vital antibodies. Thanks to its unique combination of immunoglobulins, growth factors, antimicrobial agents, vitamins and minerals, colostrum strengthens the body‘s own defenses in newborn animals. This immunity-boosting effect is not only limited to ruminant animals; it applies across all species and is therefore important in the healthy nutrition of cats.

  • Copper

Copper is a trace mineral that is involved in the formation of red blood cells and tissue and in the production of color pigments. It also boosts the immune system and supports tissue repair and iron absorption.

  • Crude ash

To calculate the crude ash content, a sample is burned until its weight no longer decreases. At this point, all organic components have been burnt and the residue represents the crude ash value. This contains the minerals in the food.

  • Crude fibre

Crude fibre refers to the proportion of food that remains following treatment with diluted acids and alkaline solutions. The major component of the remnants is cellulose.

  • Energy source

In terms of nutrition, energy sources are grouped as carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

  • Extrusion

All of our dry food products are manufactured using the extrusion procedure. Here, the food is steamed under high pressure at 120°C for 30 seconds. Thanks to the short period of time that the food is exposed to heat, almost all vitamins remain. Following extrusion, the kibbles are sprayed with fats and oils and with heat-sensitive ingredients (depending on the recipe).

  • Fats

Of the three energy sources, fats are the richest in energy. They are made up of a backbone of glycerin and three chemically bound fatty acids. In the body, fats are mainly found in cell membranes or are used to store energy. Fats that are in a liquid state at room temperature (20°C) are known as oils. Whether it is liquid or solid depends on the chemical composition of the relevant fatty acids. We distinguish between saturated and unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fatty acids, with unsaturated fatty acids being particularly important from a nutritional perspective. However, a high volume of polyunsaturated fatty acids can cause food to become rancid more quickly. This is why antioxidants are mixed into the food. Fats can be

sourced from animal and plant products. We use a variety of valuable fats and oils in LEGENDS products such as poultry fat, salmon oil, fish oil and sunflower oil.

  • Fibre

Most fibres are plant polysaccharides that are largely indigestible. They have various effects on the body and lots of nutritional benefits. Firstly, they bulk up the volume of food without the need for additional energy supply. Some kinds also bind large volumes of water, causing them to swell up and increase the feeling of fullness. The increased volume of the food causes it to press more firmly against the intestinal walls, stimulating the rhythmic movement of the intestines (peristalsis).

  • Free radicals

Free radicals are parts of molecules with a reactive electron. This means they are extremely reactive and attack the body‘s own molecules, which in turn become free radicals themselves. This triggers a chain reaction that can lead to countless chemically changed and no longer functional molecules within the body.

In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to cancer if the DNA is attacked. Free radicals can either enter the body from the external environment or can occur independently. Antioxidants protect the body against free radicals by serving as a binding partner for the reactive molecules.

  • Gluten

Gluten is a combination of proteins that occurs in some cereals. It is gluten that gives dough its chewy texture. In cats with intolerances, certain components of gluten can cause inflammation in the intestinal mucosa. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, oats and barley. Rice and corn are gluten-free.

  • Immune system

The immune system is the body‘s own defence system. It prevents pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites from entering an organism, or destroys germs that do get in. In the cellular part of blood, different types of white blood cells act to destroy pathogens at random or produce specific antibodies to fight off germs.

  • Inulin

Inulin is a combination of different polysaccharides. It is used by plants as a means to store energy, where it is found in bulbs. A valuable form of fibre, it promotes the formation and maintenance of healthy gut flora by nourishing “good“ bacteria that can then oust putrid bacteria (a probiotic effect).

  • Iodine

Iodine is primarily needed by the body for thyroid hormones. These are essential to the metabolism and to the growth of certain cells. A clear iodine deficiency can cause the thyroid not to function properly and potentially lead to reduced production of thyroid hormones.

  • Iron

Iron is mostly involved in the transport of oxygen to all parts of the body. It is a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells, where it binds to oxygen molecules. Furthermore, it is found in many enzymes and plays a role in the metabolism. Unlike many other minerals, iron can be stored in the body. The protein complex that undertakes this is called ferritin. Vitamin C supports the absorption of iron in the body.

  • L-carnitine

L-carnitine is a biochemical compound that plays an important role in metabolism. Together with coenzyme A, it forms a receptor for fatty acids so they can be broken down. L-carnitine is made within the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. However, the body can only make a limited amount. So L-carnitine must also be consumed. It can be found in red meat, particularly in lamb and mutton.

  • Magnesium

In the body, around half of magnesium is found in soft tissue, and half in the skeleton. It is best known for its effect as a coenzyme or a component of enzymes. It is also essential for the transmission of signals in nerve cells and regulates electrical charges on cell membranes.

  • Manganese

Manganese is a versatile trace mineral that is essential for all life forms. It is a component of various enzymes that are involved in a huge range of metabolic processes. It is also involved in the production of bone tissue, cartilage, insulin and sex/thyroid hormones. Manganese is absorbed by the small intestine and can be stored in the liver, bones, kidneys and pancreas.

  • Minerals:

Minerals are inorganic nutrients that the body cannot produce itself but must absorb via food. They can be divided up into trace minerals and macrominerals.

  • Macrominerals are minerals that are needed in larger quantities. They include calcium, chlorine, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur and sodium.
  • Trace minerals are only needed in smaller amounts. They include cobalt, iron, fluorine, iodine, copper, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, silicon, vanadium and zinc.
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids that are important components of cell membranes and have a variety of jobs in the body. They regulate blood pressure and seem to protect against inflammation. Certain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids compete for metabolisation that’s why it has to be added with certain ratio. The fatty acids are added through the inclusion of salmon, sunflower and linseed oil.

  • Phosphorus

Phosphorus and its chemical compounds are essential for all living organisms. It is mainly found in bone tissue (approx. 80 %) and is also part of the scaffolding of DNA and various molecules that regulate the metabolism. Phosphorus is a component of every cell membrane and is also found in bone tissue. It is important to reduce the phosphorus content in food for older animals to take the strain off the kidneys.

  • Physiological calorific value/metabolisable energy

The physiological calorific value of a foodstuff is the amount of energy that can be made available to an organism via metabolisation. This value is specified in kilojoules (kJ) or in (the outdated unit) kilocalories (kcal) per 100g.

  • Potassium

Potassium is one of the most important macrominerals in the body, where it regulates a large number of biochemical processes. Its jobs include forming and conducting electrical impulses in the heart, regulating cell growth, maintaining blood pressure, controlling the acid-base balance, regulating the distribution of hormones, converting carbohydrates and protein synthesis.

  • Protein

Proteins are molecules that comprise more than 100 amino acids. They can be thought of as the building blocks of an organism because the order the amino acids come in is coded via DNA, giving a life form its appearance. What a protein actually looks like and what characteristics it has depends on its primary structure, so the order of the individual amino acids. In total, there are 20 different amino acids in an organism, which behave like the letters in a text; in other words they result in very different information depending on the order they are in.

  • Provitamins

Provitamins are chemical precursors to vitamins. Examples include provitamin A (alpha-, beta- and gamma-carotene) as a precursor to vitamin A, or dexpanthenol, which can be transformed into pantothenic acid.

  • Salts

Salts are chemical compounds made up of positively and negatively charged ions. These are pulled towards one another and form a grid-like structure in a solid state. Usually when we talk about salt, we mean cooking salt (sodium chloride). But from a nutritional perspective, there are a whole host of other salts that are extremely important. Most minerals needed by organisms are available in foods as salts (e.g. phosphate, nitrate, iodide or magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc or ferrous (iron) salts).

  • Selenium

Selenium works as an antioxidant, protecting cells against attacks by free radicals. It is also a cofactor in various enzymes.

  • Sodium

After calcium and potassium, sodium is the third most numerous ion in the body. It is involved in the active movement of cellular matter, regulates the difference in electrical charges between the inside and outside of cells, and controls the transfer of stimuli in nerve cells. Furthermore, it adjusts the body‘s water retention and impacts enzyme activity and the preservation of bone structure.

  • Sulphur

Sulphur and its compounds are found in all organisms, especially in certain amino acids which, among other things, form keratin. This can be found in the skin, coat and claws.

  • Vitamins

Vitamins are required by more complex organisms, including dogs & cats, for a wide range of bodily functions. They must be absorbed from food because, in most cases, an organism cannot synthesise vitamins itself in sufficient quantities. We distinguish between water-soluble (e.g. vitamin C) and fat-soluble vitamins (e.g. vitamin A). An animal will require a different amount of each vitamin depending on their age, breed, gender, health level and living conditions. Our food

recipes include the amount of each vitamin required to meet the daily needs of dogs & cats in different situations.

  • Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a blend of critical chemical compounds (e.g. retinol, retinal and retinoic acids in humans) that perform a variety of jobs in an organism. They can be absorbed from food or be made by the body from carotenes. Retinol preserves the nerve cells and supports the formation of red blood cells and the incorporation of iron into these cells. Additionally, retinol boosts the immune system by strengthening white blood cells and increasing their numbers. Vitamin A also plays an important role in protein synthesis and fat metabolism and regulates bone formation and healing. Last but not least, vitamin A supports healthy skin and mucous membranes and protects against DNA damage in skin cells.

  • Vitamin B

Vitamin B is a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that are precursors to various coenzymes. They are available in both animal and plant foodstuffs.

  • Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an organic acid with a variety of functions. Natural ascorbic acid is primarily found in fruit and vegetables. Ascorbic acid supports iron absorption in the small intestine and promotes the body‘s own defences. Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant. Unlike humans, cats are able to produce vitamin C independently.

  • Vitamin D

The overarching name vitamin D actually includes five different D-vitamins (vitamins D1 to D5. Vitamin D3, which is added to all LEGENDS® products, plays a key role in regulating the level of calcium in the blood and in bone generation. Vitamin D cannot just be obtained from food and food supplements; it is also produced in the skin cells with the aid of UVB radiation. It is important to be aware that dogs with thick, long coats and darker colour skin may produce less vitamin D than dogs with short coats and light skin.

  • Vitamin E

Vitamin E covers fat-soluble substances that have an antioxidant effect. By intercepting free radicals, vitamin E protects cell membranes. Vitamin E is also thought to play a role in the development of the nervous system and in regulating the functions of reproductive organs.

  • Vitamin K

As cofactors, K-vitamins regulate blood clotting, bone formation and cellular growth. They can be synthesized from provitamins by the body itself or consumed in food. We do not add vitamin K3 to our products.

  • Zinc

Zinc is a component of lots of enzymes and, as such, performs a variety of functions. It is responsible for certain steps in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, plays a role in the building of DNA and cellular growth, is a cofactor of many hormones and stabilises the immune system.